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Sunday, June 15, 2008

1940 America's Greatest Generation: War, Love And Liberation

This is a quilt I made for an upcoming show at the art gallery in July.
I followed the theme of The 1940's America's Greatest Generation by incorporating my family's and my husband's family's life experiences of those times.

My FIL who I never met, served in the US Army. He was one of the many brave soldiers who landed on D Day on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. He also was instrumental in the liquidation of concentration camps, freeing its surviving victims; and interrogating Nazi war criminals. He met my MIL there in 1945 and she worked as his interpreter. My husband was born there. She became a war bride, as did my aunt, my mother's youngest sister. My uncle who served in the Pacific and in Guam met and married my aunt during the war also in 1945.

My immediate family was at home, parents doing neighborhood watch, and sending money to Israel for it's statehood. Grandparents pictured with me on my first birthday, and my aunt with my brother. Family staying close and supportive.

All the materials for this piece were gleaned at either garage sales or thrift stores: Fabrics and threads and embellishments alike. Nothing used cost more than $1.50 and most was in the neighborhood of 25 cents.

I did all the embroidery in the car on our summer vacation in early June.

Double click on photos to see them enlarged.

The letter under the heading "Fears of War" in the upper left hand corner was written by my husband's great grandmother to her grandson, his father, in 1940. You can read her fear in her words in this letter.

In the upper right corner: The picture of the blue tin box, a Tzdaka (Hebrew) box was for collecting charity during this time to send to Israel. Tekun Olam means to heal the world.
Thanks to my friend, Jon/Hopper in Newfoundland, my blog friend, for allowing me to use his photograph. My mother had the exact same box in our hall closet.

This second photo is my family taken while on a vacation in 1944. I was around 3 years old at the time.

This part of the piece features my husbands parents who met and married in Berlin, Germany, my MIL's homeland.

This photo depicts the closing of the war camps where six million Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses, gypsies, homosexuals, etc. were murdered. The gold stars of which there are six represent those six million lives. I didn't realize till I had added the binding that there were six stars across the top of the quilt as well. I distressed the stars that Jews were forced to wear as identification, to make them look old and worn.


Cris in Oregon said...

OMGosh, Look at the work on this quilt. It is awesome. This will be the best in the show this time. :)
Such a great story you have going on such a small quilt too. Bravo Lynn.

Lynn said...

Thanks Cris for your kind words.

Cestandrea said...

Lynn, this is a great history quilt! And I loved to see a picture of your DH's ma when she was young, marrying that American soldier who helped ending the nightmare! A lovely piece of honouring!

sukipoet said...

Lynn left a longish comment and blogger went awol. Great quilt. You are a master now at using photos which appear to be printed on cloth first? I like the barbed wire. The quilt is powerful. Moving. Good luck in the art show. Suki

Lynn said...

Thanks Andrea, yes, I enjoyed gathering these pictures and the history from my husband's family during the war.

Yes, Suki, the photos are printed on cloth backed with paper that fit into the printer. Easy to do, then separate the paper from cloth and sew onto the background fabric.
Glad for your feedback that it "moved you". This is not a juried show, but I hope it moves others who will see it as well.

A local woman who is a survior of the Holocaust will be there to speak next Saturday. I look forward to hearing her.